High-Protein Breakfast Foods

Updated July 19, 2017

Protein is a crucial nutrient in a complete diet. A protein is a chain of essential amino acids---amino acids that can't be synthesised by the body. This means that, in order to get these amino acids, we must consume adequate protein. Your body uses the amino acids that make up protein to develop and repair tissues, making it an important factor in building and maintaining strong bones, muscles and joints. This explains why bodybuilders guzzle protein shakes. Protein is commonly considered part of dinner while carbohydrates are frequently the basis of breakfast. However, according to a study conducted at Purdue University cited by Med Guru, eating high-quality protein in the morning may be better than saving it for lunch or dinner because it helps to keep you full and satisfied all day long. The description "high-quality" refers to protein found in foods that contain all nine essential amino acids and contain little saturated fat, such as low fat milk, lean meat and eggs.


The protein found in eggs contains all of the essential amino acids. While some of this protein is found in the yolk, the egg's saturated fat and cholesterol are also found here. This is why egg whites, which contain more protein than yolks, are a healthier choice. Make a healthy omelette for breakfast by using egg whites and skim milk. Top your omelette with low-fat cheese and lean reduced-sodium ham. Or make a high-protein vegetarian scramble with chopped tomatoes, spring onions and mushrooms. In both of these dishes you get protein from the egg and from the milk and toppings. If you have a healthy cholesterol level and don't take in much saturated fat, add in a yolk or two, but instead of putting in a one to one ratio of whites to yolks, try three whites for every yolk. Round out your breakfast with a slice of whole-wheat toast.


While meat is a complete protein source, often the amount of saturated fat cancels out its benefits. This is especially true with breakfast meats. To get the protein without the fat, remove skin from poultry and any visible fat from red meat. For breakfast, this means choosing Canadian bacon over regular streaky bacon. Regarding sausages, replace typical breakfast sausages with protein-rich lean turkey sausages to get all of the benefits without the drawbacks. Have two small sausages or two slices of Canadian bacon alongside a small egg-white omelette or a couple of slices of whole-wheat toast for a complete high-protein breakfast.


The protein shakes that bodybuilders rely on may not be particularly appealing but a fresh high-protein smoothie can be another thing altogether. Start with fresh or frozen fruit, like berries or bananas, that contain some protein in addition to complex sugars that will give you energy without causes a blood sugar spike. Add fresh nuts, peanut butter or almond butter for thickness and added protein. Oatmeal works well here, too. Use low-fat or non-fat milk to adjust the consistency to your taste. Milk will not only allow you to adjust to the perfect thickness but it will also add complete protein to your breakfast. If you really want to pack in the protein, add 1/2 of a scoop of protein powder before blending.


Cereal can be a wonderful choice or a very bad one. In order to avoid the latter, pay close attention to nutrition labels when choosing your box. Go with a whole grain cereal that is high in protein and fibre. Kashi GoLean cereals, for instance, have 13 grams of protein in each serving. Generally, high protein cereals will announce it on the box. Compare a few and choose your favourite. Add more protein to your bowl with low-fat or non-fat milk. Finally, for a bit of freshness and a big protein enhancement, sliced bananas or fresh berries make good toppings.


Oatmeal is a great source of fibre and complex carbohydrates, and the perfect base for a high-protein breakfast. Steel cut oats has more fibre than the instant variety but both work. Cook about 1/2 cup of oats with low-fat or skimmed milk. Now, stir in 1 tbsp of all natural peanut butter, then top your bowl with a sliced banana. For even more protein, add one to two scoops of your favourite protein powder to the cooked oats instead of peanut butter, then sprinkle 1/4 cup of fresh blueberries and several sliced almonds on top. Finish it off with a dash of cinnamon for sweetness.

Whole Grain Bread

Quick and tasty, toast is a common breakfast food. For some, it stands alone as a fast weekday breakfast (one that's low in protein). For most, though, it accompanies other foods to form a more complete meal. The best way to make your toast work for you is to switch from white to whole grain bread (this goes for other breads like bagels and English muffins as well). Instead of topping it with regular butter, choose peanut butter, which has 4 grams of protein in each tablespoon. Low-fat cottage cheese is another great option as some varieties have been enriched with fibre. Finally, always use 100 per cent fruit spread.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

An American living in Prague, Whitney Arana holds a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature from Davidson College. Currently, she works as a teacher of advanced business and exam-prep English plus conversational Spanish. She contributes regularly to both Czech and American publications on topics including health, literature, food, and travel.